German Potato Salad

This is a different sort of venture for me but I am going to teach you how we make one of my favorite family recipes. My entry tomorrow, when I complete it, will be serious, so today I wanted to do something different. Ben does a variety of tutorials on his blog and Petra and Lydia do some cooking stuff as well, So I figured I would give it a try.

I can remember my Grandma Thiel and different aunts making this and l have always loved it. Daughter Tabitha helped make this using her Intstant Pot pressure cooker for the potatoes and eggs, stirring up the sauce and just generally providing kitchen guidance. The recipe in its entirety will be at the end. In these steps I am just showing what we did. We were making a double batch.

8 slices of bacon fried crispy brown. These are when I first put them in the pan.

It calls for 8 medium sized potatoes, boiled in the jacket. The potatoes we were using weren’t of a consistent size so there were a few more. Boiling them in the jackets is important. It’s called pellkartoffeln in German. My dad used to talk about his grandfather, the one who escaped the Kaiser and came on the boat to become a U.S. citizen and that’s where I got the term, although I had to look up the spelling. In his later years he would ask my Grandma what was for dinner. If she’d say, “pellkartoffeln and herring” the old man would spit and say, “Pooey! Pellkartoffeln and herring! We had that in the Deutschland!” Growing up I don’t ever remember being served what I later learned was either a herring dip or pickled herring. My Grandma and aunts never made it when I was around if they made it all. Anyway, there are a number of reasons to boil potatoes in the skin and that’s what the recipe says. They are supposedly easier to peel but I am not sure of that. You have to peel them and dice them.

When the bacon was frying we decided that we needed a couple of more slices. After all, is there such a thing as too much bacon?

Then the boiled eggs.

We only used 4 of these.

2 stalks of celery, chopped up.

2 onions

Something didn’t look right at this point. “You doubled everything else, did you double the potatoes?” Oops. This was where the Instant Pot was really helpful. We put on some more potatoes while we did other things.

This sauce is 4 eggs, beaten, 2 cups sugar, 3 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 cup cider vinegar, and 1 cup water.

10 strips of bacon, fried crispy and chopped up. Leave it all in the bacon grease. We discovered, over the years, that the bacon grease was a key ingredient. shortcuts like pre-cooked bacon and vegetable oil just don’t work for this. If you want it to taste like my Grandma’s.

Pour the sauce into the bacon and grease and set a timer for 10 minutes, stirring it to thicken.

The additional potatoes are done. The peeling of boiling hot potatoes is quite the adventure, in case you were wondering.

The sauce is boiling and ready.

Pour it over the potato/egg/celery/onion mix in the bowl. Toss lightly (don’t stir it, dad), making sure it is all mixed together thoroughly.

Make sure dad gets a portion to taste and make sure that it is good and non-poisonous. It can be eaten warm or put in the refrigerator. If you put it in the fridge it gives the flavors time to mingle and get to know each other beforehand. So there is a big, Tupperware size V (if anyone understands that. We used to call it Grandma Pike’s breadmaking bowl) bowl in the refrigerator waiting for tomorrow.

As a boy, my aunt would serve this with smoked sausage and sauerkraut. and German chocolate cake for dessert. The only difference we’ve made is that we use kielbasa instead of the smoked sausage but I can’t tell you what the difference is myself.

8 med potatoes
1 stalk celery diced
2 hard cooked eggs sliced
1 onion minced
4 slices of bacon diced
2 eggs beaten
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon parsley

cook potatoes in jackets(boil)
peel & dice
add celery, hard cooked eggs and onion. toss lightly.
Fry bacon crisp & brown.

Add sugar to beaten eggs, salt, pepper, mustard and mixture of vinegar & water. mix well.
pour egg mixture into bacon & fat and stir until mixture thickens(about 10 minutes).

Pour over potato mix and toss lightly.

Garnish parsley

Guten Appetit!


  1. Delicious. My goals for the coming week are to eat delicious german food and use the word “pellkartoffeln” in casual conversation.

  2. This looks so delicious. It has all my favorite ingredients. I think trying this dish out on a Sunday evening would be perfect. Thanks for sharing.

    Best wishes from The Strong Traveller and have a great day

    Do have a look at my blog whenever you find the time. There is some travel and lifestyle content which you may find interesting. Your thoughts will surely be very valuable. Stay connected. 🙂

  3. I grew up on this stuff and it’s great also I’ll forgive you this time for not knowing the difference between the sausages but other polocks won’t be so generous.

    Stay well and laugh

    • Hahahaha! Well, thank you ever so much. Growing up in Central Wisconsin there were a lot of Germans and Polish so I hsould know better. Thanks for the forgiveness.

  4. Pellkartoffeln  and herring! sounds like a good grumbling phrase for a comic book – e.g. Tin Tin – Great blistering barnacles!

  5. This looks awesome! I’ll have to try it soon. 😁 Also, I feel like I’m starting to become part of your blogging family, since you mentioned me along with Lydia and Ben haha

  6. Herb, my grandma would roll over in her grave! For a start, where are the pickles? It does look like decent fun though! The sauce is very interesting. And from scratch. I guess every family in Germany has their very own best potato salad recipie and than it still varies a bit by region. Celery? Nein! Never ever. That weird Anglo Saxon thing they keep serving with strange fillings? Nope.

    • LOL! I really did laugh out loud at your last sentence. I suppose it may be the same way everywhere in the world that each family and/or region has it’s own way of making potato salad. I know in the southern U.S. it’s quite different from up north.

      There’s nothing like German potato salad, though. Do you buy a pre-packaged sauce over there? This was the way my grandmother and aunts all did it. The thought of adding pickles to it doesn’t sound appetizing to me but I could leave the celery out next time, lol.

      I remember my dad saying my grandmother was a Berliner but I don’t know the region(s) my great-grandfather or grandfather came from.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! I sure appreciate it.

      • To be honest, I go for miracel whip, as it’s the least disgusting mayo out there. Making my own sauce would certainly take this to a whole new level!

        — Stopping by any time! I have just been really busy with life and stuff … While I know, I am missing out on my favorite blogs, I make sure to head over when I can! Have a lovely weekend!

          • Thank you! Altough .., it’s a bit yes and no. In cyber life you meet people that sometimes understand your cause a lot more than people in real life 😉
            (I had huge issues with work, a bit of time away was just the way to go … On the bright side, I found myself saying “I quit” — it was soo time … Life is so damn short … Just saying) There was a time you blogged every day, we can all adjust. Any time

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